Slide-in Vs Freestanding Range: Which One Should You Pick? Whether you’re looking to buy a new range for your kitchen or are replacing an old broken one, choosing between a slide-in and freestanding range can be confusing. So, which one suit you best?
What Is A Slide-In Range?
Slide-in ranges are made to fit flush between cabinets, with a finished look and feel. These ranges can be installed between cabinets or against a wall, with no gap in the back.
The cooktop on a slide-in range is completely separate from the oven, which may be a gas or electric oven. A slide-in range offers you more options for cooking than a traditional freestanding range.
If you are leaning toward an electric oven, you can choose between a ceramic smooth surface cooktop or an induction cooktop. The induction cooktop provides faster heat than the radiant surface cooktop, but can only be used with certain types of cookware.
With gas ranges, you can choose between open burners or sealed burners. Sealed burners provide an easier cleanup because they are enclosed with a top piece and have no cracks where spills can get into the burner assembly.
Modern kitchen aesthetic
Slide-in ranges are designed to seamlessly fit into your kitchen without leaving space between the countertop and stovetop, creating a clean and modern look that is easy to keep clean. Slide-in ranges often come in stainless steel or white finish as well as black stainless, which is popular in high-end kitchens. Both gas and electric slide-in ranges come in a variety of sizes.
Most slide-in ranges have sealed burners, which make them more fuel-efficient than regular open burners. With the exception of wall ovens, all slide-in range products come standard with a warming zone—an area where food can be kept warm after it is cooked.
On average, a slide-in range costs about $500 more than a freestanding model. That’s because the slide-in range is considered higher end, with more features and a sleek look, according to Consumer Reports.
The need for special installation
Slide-in ranges need to be installed in a space that’s level and flush with the countertop surface. This can lead to issues if you’re replacing an older freestanding or drop-in range with a new slide-in model. If your kitchen doesn’t meet these criteria, you may need to hire a professional to remodel the space before installing your new range.
Because slide-in ranges are designed with a specific area of the kitchen in mind, they have strict dimensional requirements. If you’re remodeling and designing your kitchen from scratch, these restrictions won’t be an issue. But if you’re trying to replace an existing freestanding range, it might not fit in the same space.
Slide-in ranges are typically 2 inches taller than freestanding models, so if your cabinets are already as tall as they can go, you might run into problems. You’ll also need at least 3 inches of countertop on either side of the range to accommodate the slide-in’s finished sides.
Fewer storage options
Slide-in ranges have no backsplash or storage drawer underneath — those features are built into the surrounding countertops and cabinetry instead. While this makes them more streamlined, it also means you have fewer places to put cooking tools and utensils. It’s important to keep this in mind when planning your kitchen layout.
What Is A Freestanding Range?
A freestanding range is a range that you can place anywhere in the kitchen. This type of range has finished sides and a backguard, so it looks good no matter where you put it. If a freestanding range isn’t going to be against a wall or in a corner, you’ll want to make sure there’s enough space between the back edge of the range and any rear countertop area for proper ventilation.
The basic characteristic of freestanding ranges is that they simply stand on their own. They are not built into the kitchen cabinetry. This type of range has four legs and two oven doors. They come in a variety of widths, ranging from 24 inches to 48 inches. Most freestanding ranges have a cooktop with four or five burners
Here are some of the outstanding features that come with freestanding ranges.
The standard oven comes with three racks and has a large capacity to allow you to cook multiple dishes at once. It also has a broiler that helps you cook your food faster. Plus, some models have an extra door which allows you to check on your food without having to open the whole oven so that it does not lose heat.
Another advantage of the freestanding range is that you can also get one with an extra “baking drawer” underneath the oven. This drawer is perfect for warming plates or keeping foods warm while others cook in the main oven above. It also allows you to bake at two different temperatures simultaneously, without sacrificing space.
A double oven freestanding range features two ovens that can be used independently from each other, offering more flexibility than a single oven. A double oven is ideal for those who need to cook or bake different dishes at different temperatures at the same time.
If you love cooking healthy without sacrificing flavor, then a steam oven should be your top priority. Unlike conventional ovens which use dry heat, steam ovens infuse water into their heating system, which makes them much healthier because it seals in food’s natural flavor and retains moisture better than dry heat during cooking. Steam also helps clean the inside of the oven as it rises up during the cooking process, reducing the amount of scrubbing you need to do during cleaning.
Another popular feature of a freestanding range is the convection oven, which uses fans to circulate hot air around the food being cooked so it cooks evenly from all sides at once without needing to be turned over during cooking time. This saves time and energy because there’s less waiting involved when using this type of oven compared with traditional ones that don’t have such a feature.
The average price of a freestanding range is between $300 and $3,000.
The price you pay for a freestanding range depends on the features you choose. Basic models with four burners and an oven cost around $300 to $500.
Higher-end freestanding ranges may have six burners, an oven, a larger capacity and self-cleaning technology. These ranges cost between $1,800 and $3,000.
No countertop next to the range
Without a countertop on either side of the range, it can be difficult to prepare and cook food at the same time. Also, you can’t use the space for setting down hot pots or to place a cutting board.
Freestanding ranges are moving parts of your kitchen. Make sure you install them on floor joists that are strong enough to support their weight (usually over 200 pounds). If you want to move one, it may require more than one person.
Potentially hazardous gap between the back of the range and the backsplash
Depending on how close your cabinets are positioned next to your range, there could be a 1-inch or larger gap between the back of the range and your backsplash. This could pose a potential hazard if small children happen to get behind there while pots are cooking. However, our experience is that most homeowners will not have this problem because they plan their cabinet installation properly beforehand.
Differences Between A Slide-In Range And A Freestanding Range
A slide-in range can give your kitchen a more upscale look. The cooktop and controls are at the same level as the countertop, and there’s no exposed space below the cooktop. It creates a clean, seamless appearance.
A freestanding range has a backguard that extends up behind the cooktop. It can be decorative or plain, depending on the model.
Slide-in ranges have front-mounted controls, so you don’t have to reach over burners to adjust them. Front-mounted controls also make it easier to see and operate the range knobs. Freestanding ranges can have either front- or rear-mounted controls, though many models now come with front controls to make them appear more like slide-in ranges.
Slide-in ranges are designed to fit into a cutout in your countertop with minimal side and back gaps between the range and surrounding cabinets. No filler strips are required, and most manufacturers offer an optional kit to fill in any gaps around the sides or back of your range for an even sleeker appearance.
A freestanding range typically has about an inch of clearance on all sides for air flow, so you’ll need a filler strip to cover any gaps.
Slide-in ranges are generally more expensive than freestanding ranges. Slide-in ranges aren’t usually on sale, and they don’t have many rebates available, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting a good price for one. If you’re looking for a good deal on a slide-in range, you might want to consider going for a freestanding range instead.
Freestanding ranges are typically less expensive than slide-in ranges. There are many different models of freestanding ranges, so prices can vary greatly. They often go on sale, so if you want to save money on your new range, look for the best sales on freestanding ranges.
Conclusion: Slide-in Or Freestanding Range?
Which one should you pick? The final choice comes down to your personal preference, but there are some considerations. How important are aesthetics versus functionality? If you take the overall value into consideration, it becomes clear that slide-in ranges are the better deal. When stacked up against one another, a lot of the things that make freestanding ovens such a good value can be found on slide-in ranges as well. If you’re looking for a new range, we’d say that a slide-in is a fantastic option. The variety of sizes, designs, and brands will make finding the right one easier than ever before─and they offer great value to boot. Good luck!